You’ve worked hard to get your popcorn shop off the ground. Now you have an organized storefront or mobile business, excellent products, and a strong customer base – and it’s great! But how many hours are you putting in? How often are you able to take a break from your business and spend time with your family or enjoy your hobbies?
If you can’t remember the last time you really relaxed, it’s time to think about hiring some help.
Balancing the need for more workers with your budget and profit margins can be tricky. But there are plenty of circumstances in which not hiring people can actually hurt your bottom line. Think about these situations and which might apply to you:
- Are you frequently too busy to help customers in a timely manner? If business is booming and customers are waiting in long lines, they may get fed up and leave without ever making a purchase. You want to be able to handle demand in your shop at peak times. Having an additional associate to take orders, prepare items for purchase, and ring up sales helps reduce wait times and increase customer satisfaction.
- Do you want to expand your business hours? You can’t work all day every day without getting burned out. If it’s time for your store to stay open longer, then it’s time to hire employees. You’ll need someone you can trust to handle opening or closing so that you can step away.
- Do you want to offer more products? Once your store reaches a certain amount of business, if you’re in the back making fudge or gourmet popcorn, you can’t also be answering customer questions and running the cash register. To expand your lineup, you’ll either need employees who can operate your equipment or who can handle customer service.
- Do you expect business to pick up during a particular season? The summer season, as well as winter holidays, are common times to add temporary staff. These times that you’re busier than usual can be a great way to practice employing people without the pressure of choosing a permanent staff member. Offer jobs to high school or college students on break as you acclimate yourself to hiring, training, and managing staff.
There are a lot of reasons for hiring more staff, including some that may not have occurred to you:
- Find your passion again. When you’re at the job day in and day out, you might not even notice yourself getting burned out. But everyone needs some time away, even from things they love – and that includes you. Once you’ve got some employees you trust who can handle things while you’re away, you’ll be able to take a break and come back refreshed and remembering why you started your business in the first place.
- See things through someone else’s perspective. You live and breathe your business, and it’s entirely built from your vision. Adding a new perspective from someone who is not as invested as you are can be a breath of fresh air. New employees can help you solve problems you struggle with and can provide feedback on issues you may have overlooked. Just be sure to create an environment in which it’s acceptable and encouraged for your staff to point these things out to you.
- Give back to the community. As a small business owner, you have a special place in your community. With your hiring practices, you can become a mentor to young people working their first jobs and a social outlet for seniors looking for a way to supplement income and fill time. Hiring staff at your small business also helps keep tax dollars in your community and can stimulate your local economy.
If you’ve decided it’s time to hire, keep these things in mind:
- Will you need part-time or full-time workers? Think about the type of schedule you will want someone to work so you can be upfront about that from the start.
- Will you offer benefits such as health insurance? Employees of small businesses have varying expectations regarding benefits. With your first few employees, you are likely not mandated to offer any benefits, but laws can change, so make sure you’re up-to-date on what you’re required to provide.
- Will you do the hiring on your own or use a staffing agency? You have more control on your own, but advertising, interviewing, and choosing candidates can take a lot of your time. Staffing agencies can handle this for you, but you’ll pay for their time.
- How will you handle payroll and taxes? Remember that there’s more in play than just the salary you’ll pay employees. Make sure you’re confident in your accounting skills and caught up on laws, or hire an experienced payroll accountant to cover this aspect for you.
When you’re ready to hire, place ads near your business. A majority of people work close to their homes, or would prefer to. So advertise nearby, as well as using online job boards. Make sure to hire people who are willing to learn and who you think you can get along with, since you’ll be spending a lot of time together and trusting them with part of your business. And if business continues to boom, be prepared to hire additional staff so you and your employees don’t risk burnout.